I fought the law; the law won
As resorts go, the Hotel Guglwald is a beauty. It's in a pine forest in Upper Austria, and features five adjacent golf courses, an indoor pool and spa,a gourmet restaurant, lush landscaping, and picture-book architecture with medieval-style towers guarding the main entrance. What it doesn't have, however, is a full roof. Last week, hotelier Dietmar Hehenberger paid a crew of men with chain saws $6,282 to cut off 11-3/4 inches of it, leaving almost no overhang on one side of the new wing they built two years ago. Why? Because it overhung the border with the Czech Republic, violating an agreement that requires a "vacant belt" on both sides of the boundary. Hehenberger argued in court that it was not his fault Austrian authorities had used imprecise maps when OK'ing plans for the new wing. But with bureaucrats from both countries ordering that the overhang be removed and no end to the legal battle in sight, the hotelier decided the time had come to act. Or, as he put it: "I'd rather cut off part of the roof today and live in peace than risk being forced to demolish" the entire wing later. So, are the authorities happy now? Well, not all of them. Said the governor of South Bohemia on the Czech side of the border (who's a fan of the hotel): "I never thought it would end like this.... it's just terrible."